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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Greek Leader Seeks to Temper Expectations

ATHENS—As Greece’s new government races to deliver a promised list of reforms to its European creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been trying to prepare the Greek public for the likelihood he won’t deliver fully on his promises. Amid Mr ...


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A long road still to travel on talks with Greece

The outline agreement between Greece and the other euro zone countries to extend its bailout programme is welcome, though it is just a first step.


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Greece wins reprieve but tough decisions to follow

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the deal "cancels austerity" and pledges by the previous government to cut wages, pensions and public ...


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Here are the ugly details of how the Greek bailout extension got done

The new Greek found itself without a single firm ally among 18 euro zone peers in its drive to reverse austerity and renegotiate its debt pile. The 10 ...


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Dani Rodrik explains why a Greek euro exit isn't a solution for anyone

Turkish economist Dani Rodrik, formerly a professor at Harvard and currently an Albert O. Hirschman professor of social sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, has coined the phrase “the inescapable trilemma of the world economy.”


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​'Bailout deal won't stop Syriza from cutting austerity trend' – Greek econ minister

Syriza is still determined to fulfill its campaign promises to cut austerity regardless of the new agreement between Athens and Eurozone ministers, ...


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The Guardian view on the Greek debt deal: victory or defeat?

Greeks wanted an end to austerity, and they wanted to retain the euro, seemingly contradictory desires. But they could have both, the Syriza leader ...


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Cypriot Gov’t: Eurogroup Decision Secures Greece’s Position in the Eurozone

Friday’s crucial Eurogroup meeting with both the Greek side and the Eurozone member states’ Finance Ministers appearing pleased with the negotiations outcome, is what has been described as a rare compromise. Cyprus, among the 19 Eurozone members, has welcomed the historic decision on Greece’s financial assistance. In a written statement issued earlier by the government spokesperson Nicos Christodoulides, it is highlighted that the four-month loan agreement extension, until April, secures the country’s position within the Euro area, while reform efforts receive a new impetus. According to Mr. Christodoulides, the decision between Athens and the Finance Ministers of the Eurozone is “very positive and significant for Greece and for Europe.” Furthermore, the Cypriot official highlights that these are the very same goals that Cyprus is aiming for, through collective work, responsibility, which have produced concrete results. With assertiveness and by keeping the interests of the Cypriot people in mind, the government is working towards the economy’s full recovery, the announcement concludes. As declared, the new deal entails a four-month extension of the loan agreement without new austerity measures and a commitment that no unilateral actions will be taken.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT greece.greekreporter.com

Foreign Minister Kotzias Stresses Greece’s Importance in Regional Stability

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias underlined the geopolitical importance of Greece in the meeting of Med Group diplomats. Mr. Kotzias underlined that a possible Greek economic collapse would have negative results in the entire region. As he argued, Greece’s destabilization at this time would be particularly dangerous given the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. “If some people destabilize Greece because they want to humiliate our country or to gain revenge for the resistance shown by the election results, they should bear in mind that they will see the whole of Europe destabilized,” the Greek Foreign Minister said referring to the country’s Eurozone partners. “They cannot punish Greece without punishing themselves,” Mr. Kotzias concluded. The meeting was held in Paris and attended by the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Malta. The Med Group ministers discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region putting their emphasis on the developments in war-torn Syria, Iraq and Libya, as well as the crisis in Ukraine, which the Greek Foreign Minister visited on Thursday for talks with his Ukranian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union Federica Mogherini also attended the Med Group meeting.


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German Vice Chancellor Gabriel: Everyone Relieved by the Greek Deal

German Vice Chancellor and Social Democratic Party (SPD) President Sigmar Gabriel welcomed the Eurogroup’s agreement on the Greek issue during a visit to Madrid. “Here, everybody was relieved that it was possible after all to reach a major breakthrough last night,” he said. As declared, the new deal entails a four-month extension of the loan agreement without new austerity measures and a commitment that no unilateral actions will be taken. The German Vice Chancellor visited the Spanish capital in order to participate in a center-left political conference organized by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party. The participating European social democrats discussed ways to boost economic growth in the Eurozone, as well as security issues and counter terrorism measures to be taken. According to Spanish analysts the conference comes as an answer to the leftist Podemos party rise. The anti-austerity movement was born from the aftermath of the “Indignados” movement of 2011 and holds an ally with Greek SYRIZA. Asked about the rise of populist and nationalist parties in several countries, he put the blame on the established political elite. “This happens if one ignores the genuine interests of the people for too long and if Europe has 26 million unemployed. It’s simply a catastrophe,” Mr. Gabriel said. On his behalf, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the European leaders to a less austerity-centered agenda. “Austerity for austerity’s sake, punitive politics for the people is leading to rising populism and weakening possibilities to recover growth and competitiveness in our countries,” he warned. Finally, the European Parliament President Martin Schulz, also a member of Germany’s SPD, stressed that what Europe needs is a reduction of sovereign debt. “But we cannot reduce the public debt without growth and employment,” he explained.


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Tsipras gears up for 'real' fight

After agreement for bailout funds, Greece govt must submit list of economic measures


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Can a Bitcoin-style virtual currency solve the Greek financial crisis?

Introducing a parallel currency would create money and delay Greece’s inevitable financial default. But the strategy will only work if investors believe the country won’t collapseThere’s almost no upside to a eurocrisis. You become part of a rolling maul of politicians, journalists and economists ripping and gouging at each other, both in private and on Twitter. The only advantage of being there is that it forces you to think laterally about money. Soon – if the Greek crisis is not resolved – one of the most audacious pieces of lateral thinking ever could get a try-out: a parallel digital currency, issued by the Greek government, modelled on Bitcoin, but with a crucial difference. Related: The Guardian view on the Greek debt deal: victory or defeat? | Editorial Continue reading...


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SYRIZA MEP Glezos Apologizes to Greek People for 'Contributing to an Illusion'

Historic member of Greek Left, World War II resistance participant and SYRIZA MEP Manolis Glezos heavily criticized the Greek government for the ...


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Local Greek organizations partner to support education

Students from Saegert step team dance during the Elementary Step-off competition during 2015 Greek Fest at the Killeen Civic and Conference ...


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Greece scrambles to send draft reforms

Athens must spell out measures it will take to meet rescue conditions


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Scrappy deal keeps Greece from the wolves

Athens and the eurogroup must improve the way they negotiate


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Greece races to dodge bankruptcy

… including the German parliament if Greece is to remain solvent. … tax revenues had collapsed, while Greece banks suffered deposit flight … 70pc-80pc approval rate among the Greek public, according to the … its ordinary lending to Greek banks and alleviate the …


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Greece supports efforts to broaden cooperation with UAE defence companies

National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said on Sunday that the government wants to continue and broaden its cooperation between Greek and Emirati defence companies during his visit at the national pavilion and those of Greek state and private companies ...


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Goodman: Popular uprisings in Greece and Spain

In ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy, power derived from "demos," the people. Well, the people of contemporary Greece have been reeling ...


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Greece Agrees to Bailout Package, EURO Rebounds

greece The agreement to approve Greece's bailout package has brought relief and helped the Euro zone rebound. The bailout package for Greece ...


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Greece has spent 90 of the past 192 years in financial crisis (GREK)

Greece is all the rage in world markets right now.  Anti-austerity party Syriza was voted into power in the latest parliamentary elections, and since then investors have been on edge as Greece and its creditors enter negotiations on debt repayment.  But for Greece, dealing with financial problems is nothing new.  This chart, which comes to us from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, shows that in the past two centuries, the number of sovereign debt defaults in Greece is 6.  And what's more, BofA notes that Greece has spent 90 of the past 192 years in either default or debt restructuring.  Which is a lot.  Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Nationwide's Super Bowl commercial about dead children is about corporate profits ... in a way that we can all appreciate


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Greece rejigs reforms as clock ticks on loan deal

Greece raced Sunday to finalise reform proposals that would keep its loan lifeline open under an EU debt deal that saw its anti-austerity ambitions curtailed.


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Greek FinMin Varoufakis Certain Reforms List Will Be Approved

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis appears certain that the list of reforms the Greek government discussed yesterday in a meeting under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be approved by the country’s European partners. “The list will be submitted and I am absolutely certain it will be approved. We are drawing it up as we speak, it will be completed tomorrow,” Mr. Varoufakis said while exiting the meeting in the Greek government’s headquarters, Maximos Mansion. The acceptance of Greece’s request for a grace period until the end of April — pending the approval of a list of reforms that must be submitted by Greece on Monday — is seen as a successful combination of “logic with ideology and rules with respect for democracy” by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in the press conference held in Brussels after Friday’s Eurogroup meeting. Greece’s SYRIZA-led coalition government has until tomorrow to submit proposed reform plans to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) which will remain in control of overseeing the process. If the three institutions, previously referred as the “troika,” approve the Greek proposed list then this will have to be approved by the national parliaments of the Eurozone’s member states. Moreover, the Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis also said he is “almost certain” that the other 18 single currency Finance Ministers will green light the reforms via a telephone conference, negating the need for another Eurogroup meeting, following the previous three held in a period of 20 days.


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Set the economy to stun

by  Andy Carling The finale of the second Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is more relevant to the EU than it may appear.  To save the ship and crew of the USS Free Enterprise, Spock, a cold, emotionless Vulcan, who fails to understand the personality and manifold quirks of his fellow officers and crew enters the radiation filled engine room and saves the day, sacrificing his life. As he dies, he sees Admiral James Kirk, the rash, impulsive and fallible friend, who has rushed to try and save his friend. As Spock dies, he explains himself to his distraught commander, “Don’t grieve, Admiral, it’s logical: the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one.” A little metaphor for the Greece/German crisis, it appears, except that the understanding of a higher purpose comes from the emotionally sterile Vulcan not the all too human Kirk. It what passes for the real world here in Brussels, it is the new untermensch, the Greeks who are asking to look higher, further than immediate, selfish concerns and the emotionally stunted Vulcans who are demanding they rule over all. Let us not forget that German solidarity is really only solidarity towards Germany’s banks and business and the creation of economic lebensraum. Merkel, the second least liked German Chancellor in history went ballistic when her EPP spitzenkandidat, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had posters put up in Germany for last May’s election with the slogan ‘Solidarity’. We can only assume that she has nothing but contempt for the word and concept. The German interpretation of solidarity and assistance has pushed Greece into sub-Saharan Africa levels of poverty, while, and this is the real cruelty, blaming ordinary Greeks for their woes. It is said that austerity has to continue because of public sentiment. Who can blame them? They’ve been told that it’s all the fault of the feckless, workshy, dishonest Greek citizen. Well, as Tony Blair discovered that telling his people that Iraq had WMD and Islamic terrorists, repeating the Big Lie doesn’t make it true, nor does it lead to good policy choices. Complicit in this is the Socialist and Democrats Group, led by election loser Martin Schulz, whose party just happens to be in coalition with Merkel. Indeed, one positive aspect of the crisis is that it appears to have silenced the garrulous former bookseller. Less positively, Europe’s centre-left has been austerity-friendly for many years, leaving them with only mealy mouthed platitudes and statements that may have been typed by a near-infinite number of monkeys, who just can’t get to Shakespearian levels. Asked to explain why the S&D lost the last election, with austerity, unemployment, anger etc that, on paper, would give them a landslide, Hannes Swoboda told New Europe why they lost, “We didn’t stand often enough with the victims of austerity.” That position appears to be the case today. It is sheer cowardice. The public are set to vote for those that either say ‘no to austerity’ or ‘to the Devil with them all’.  Austerity has not only destroyed a member state, it’s finishing off mainstream politics. Will this do anything but encourage a Brexit in a referendum? What will happen in the next European elections? By then it will be clear that even national elections are completely ignored if they go against what Germany wants. How is this going to do anything but hammer in the final nail in the coffin? Remember, we’re risking everything for a policy that does not work.  


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Jeroen Dijsselbloem: (Euro)zoning out

by  Dan Alexe Chief of the Eurogroup - a terrifying responsibility. Before Jeroen Dijsselbloem, that almost mystical job belonged to none other than Jean-Claude Juncker, the revered artisan of the Greek bail-out. So, when the priestly function was bestowed upon the youngish looking (although born in 1966) Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, worried voices were heard in the Dutch parliament: will he be able to mix both? Run our finances AND the Eurozone at the same time? Raised a Roman Catholic and nominally a Socialist, Jeroen Dijsselbloem went to a Catholic primary school, then to a Catholic secondary school. Studied agricultural economics at the provincial university of Wageningen, then went for a “stage” at the provincial university of Cork, in Ireland. From a provincial environment to another province. But the provincial Dutch pride themselves on having invented capitalism (as Max Weber told us), so they have a reputation to maintain: seriousness, frugality, pragmatism and success in business. Forget the disastrous tulip mania, a classical case study of irrational capitalism avant la lettre. Also, with the boom of the colonies, the Dutch were among the first international pirates. There were very few faux-pas in Dijsselbloem’s ascension. One such was the story of his CV. Upon becoming  a minister and a member of the Board of Governors of the European Investment Bank, his official English-language CV mentioned a masters degree from the Cork University (UCC), where he only went for that brief stage. His biography on official internet sites of European institutions claimed he had received an MA in Business Economics from UCC, but no such degree exists, and his CV had to be amended to say he “did business economics research towards a master’s degree at the University College Cork.” It had transpired that he only spent a couple of months at UCC conducting research in the “Food Business” field. The blunder was quickly corrected and attributed to a translation error. Then he made that mistake with Cyprus. In March 2013, while a negotiator for the “Cyprus bail-in”, he made jaws drop by proposing to grab part of depositors’ money as part of bank rescues. He even said “I’m pretty confident that the markets will see this as a sensible, very concentrated and direct approach instead of a more general approach...It will force financial institutions, as well as investors, to think about the risks they are taking on because they will now have to realise that it may also hurt them.” He then made heads shake in despair by buoyantly adding that the Cyprus bail-in was a template for resolution of a bankruptcy, but two days later came back and said: no-no, Cyprus was no such template. And he also is the one who whispered to the Greek Yanis Varoufakis: “You just killed the troika”, on the tone of someone just having lost a baby. Varoufakis only grinned. As a revenge, one week later Dijsselbloem tried to make the shrewd Greek sign a paper that he substituted at the last moment for the one that Varoufakis had been shown earlier. Tsss-tss, naughty. Reckless, Dijsselbloem? No, he simply hasn’t realised that his job is to be a mediator, and that the Eurozone chief has to be flexible, a good negotiator and someone who doesn’t (Euro)zone out, give signs of being a bad loser. But he comes from that particular brand of Dutch catholicism distinguished from calvinism only by the (scarce) use of images. Scarce is the word here. All his apparent pedantry, obsession with irrevocable commitment and meticulous detail, all this has to be seen in the context of the Dutch catholicism. The Catholics in the Netherlands are as introverted and cautious as their Calvinist countrymen. They tend to be inflexible and disregard outside opinions. Finally, the much praised Dutch model of tolerance has long been said to be a mere form of indifference for the others.


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Hamilton, Ohio, wins top tap water prize at annual water tasting contest in West Virginia

by  Associated Press Ohio city wins top tap water prize at W.Va. tasting contest Associated Press - 22 February 2015 13:20-05:00 BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — Hamilton, Ohio, has won the top tap water prize at an international tasting contest. Hamilton received the gold medal for Best Municipal Water on Saturday at the 25th anniversary Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting in West Virginia. Organizers of the event say Indigo H20 of Elkhart, Indiana, won the top prize for best purified water. Two entrants from Athens, Greece, also won gold medals. Fengari Platinum received the top prize for best bottled water, and Daphne-Ultra Premium Natural Mineral Sparkling won the gold medal for best sparkling water. Drinking Water Foundation chairman Jack C. West received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement award for his work in the bottled water industry. Water advocate Scott Shipe received the 25th Anniversary Water Classic award for supporting the water tasting for 25 years. News Topics: General news, Bottled water, Water bottling, Non-alcoholic beverages, Beverages, Food and drink, Lifestyle, Soft drink manufacturing, Beverage manufacturing, Food, beverage and tobacco products manufacturing, Consumer product manufacturing, Consumer products and services, Industries, Business People, Places and Companies: Hamilton, West Virginia, Ohio, United States, North America Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Ten days that shook the euro; how Greece came to the brink

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The "rock star" took on the rock. And the rock won.


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Chickens come home to roost after Greek public sector boom

Although the Greek economy finally turned a corner in 2014, the chronic uncertainty hanging over it now as its teeters on the brink of 'Grexit' could well ...


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Things were finally looking up for Greece after 6 years of recession, and now it's falling apart again

The new Greek government campaigned against the existing program for ... Greek competitiveness has improved significantly, leading to exports ...


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Greek PM declares victory as country gets rescue deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared victory yesterday after agreeing a last-minute conditional financial rescue deal with Europe, despite ...


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Greek fest comes to an end, makes a lasting impression

FORT MYERS, Fla. -Over the weekend, you had the chance to experience the culture of Greece without ever leaving Southwest Florida.


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It Ain't Over Until The Fat Lady Sings And Hellas Ain't Yodeling Yet

Friday brought us the news that Greece had reached a debt deal with the troika of the IMF, EU and ECB (also with the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers). This isn't really quite true. They and Greece have really agreed to reach an agreement about that debt and austerity problem. [...]


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Israeli Stocks Rise to Record on Global Greek-Deal Fueled Rally

… . shares before the weekend, as Greece reached a deal on its … keep bailout funds flowing to Greece in return for a commitment … out the detail of longer-term Greek financing. The Standard & Poor …


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Greece's two-day deadline to earn four months' grace

The Syriza-led government in Athens has until late Monday night to come up with a list of structural reforms such as deregulation and anti-tax evasion measuresHaving clinched an outline agreement to extend Greece’s bailout by four months in crunch talks in Brussels on Friday, Athens now has its work cut out. Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have until Monday night to come up with a list of proposed structural reforms that will then be scrutinised by international creditors – the “troika” of the European Central Bank, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund. Related: Greek government races to meet Monday fiscal reform deadline Continue reading...


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Poll: 81% of Greeks support SYRIZA in negotiations with lenders

80 percent of the Greeks approve they way the Greek government deals with the lenders, EU, IMF and ECB. The public opinion polls was conducted12-17 February, that is in the time period SYRIZA was negotiating with the Eurogroup partners, and one day after Greece rejected the Dijsselbloem draft on February […]


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Greece Reaches Debt Deal With EU

The post Greece Reaches Debt Deal With EU appeared first on The National Herald.


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Dokos Case Shows Lack of Church Leadership Skill

The case of Fr. James Dokos, former presiding priest of the Annunciation Parish in Milwaukee, shows again the Greek Orthodox Church is rudderless. The post Dokos Case Shows Lack of Church Leadership Skill appeared first on The National Herald.


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Greece readies list of reforms to dodge bankruptcy

The extension, which was agreed in principle at deadline day talks on Friday evening, will also need to be ratified by Greece's 18 fellow eurozone ...


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As it stands, Greece can not continue in Eurozone

There should be no misunderstanding about the source of Greece's current woes. In May 2010, the then government, having admitted that its ...


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Greek PM warns of tough talks

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has hailed the "important success" of Greece's loan negotiations and what he called "the end of austerity and the ...


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Greece prepares reform promises for Monday deadline

Greece’s government prepared reform measures on Sunday to secure a financial lifeline from the euro zone, but was attacked for selling “illusions” to voters after failing to keep a promise to extract the country from its international bailout.


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German Chancellor Merkel: We Will Only Approve Greek Deal if Promises Are Met

Athens might have struck a deal with its partners on Friday’s Eurogroup, although the agreed four-month extension of the loan agreement has to now be approved by the Eurozone member states’ national Parliaments. German Chancelor Angela Merkel has warned that Bundestag, the German Parliament, will only approve the agreed deal after Athens presents the list of reforms it proposed. “The Greeks have to do their homework now. Then, an extension of the aid program can be approved by the German Bundestag,” Volker Kauder the leader of Merkel’s conservatives in parliament stated in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. In a different interview published on Saturday he stressed that the Greek government has finally “realized that it cannot turn a blind eye to reality.” In a similar context, the leader of Germany’s junior coalition partner Social Democratic Party (SDP) Thomas Oppermann characterized Greece’s willingness to proceed with new reforms as a good sign, but underlined “this has to happen now.” On his behalf, Ralph Brinkhaus from Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) agreed that important steps have been taken and warned that the finishing line has not been reached yet. “Greece has lost some trust from its European partners in the last months. The extension of the program by four months has to be used to restore this trust,” he explained. “Without reliable considerations from Athens, the deal is worth nothing,” Hans Michelbach an MP for Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) said. The above came only a few hours after Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfganag Schaeuble’s statements that “the Greeks will certainly have a difficult time explaining the deal to their voters.”


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Greeks Shrug Off Syriza's Compromise

Even as Greece’s new government races to deliver its promised list of reforms to its European creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has quietly prepared the Greek public for the likelihood that he won’t deliver fully on his promises.


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Greece races to meet 'inhuman' deadline for reforms

The clock is ticking for Greece to submit a package of reforms in time for a Monday deadline that Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has described as ...


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Monitors to review Athens’ reform list

Greek bank run may have been avoided but important issues have yet to be agreed


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Was Greece's Yanis Varoufakis 'punch-up' threat just a ruse he learnt in Essex?

… extend Greece’s bailout package for four months. 'Erratic': Greece … be finalised tomorrow – effectively saving Greece from leaving the eurozone and … a PhD in 1987. The Greek Left-wing government, elected in January …


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Greece set to send draft reforms to EU and IMF

Athens to spell out measures to crack down on tax evasion and fuel and cigarette smuggling


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Let the Greek debt battle begin

There are creative solutions to the fiscal fight that now matters the most, writes Wolfgang M√ľnchau


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Greece submits reform proposals to Brussels in an effort to avoid Grexit

Greek media reports the leftist-led government … get the green light from Greece’s main international creditors. The …


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INSIGHT-No feel-good victory for Germany in debt clash with Greece

The bailout extension deal that Germany and its European partners clinched with Greece on Friday after weeks of public jousting between the ...


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